Did anyone else learn that they enjoy being social more than they realized over the last 12-15 months? And, now have a slightly harder time getting back into socializing with more than your “bubble” of people as things are starting to go back to pre-pandemic “normals”?
I never thought I relied on having people over and seeing people (in person) as much as I realized I did. And, thankfully, last summer we were able to do some small backyard BBQs during the later summer/early fall months. Though there was some trepidation by all, even though most of us had been staying home, etc.
As the weather has improved over the last few weeks, I’ve been waiting for the moment to have people over, to enjoy being around more than the 6-8 people I considered my “bubble” over the last 12 months. And, then….I became quickly overwhelmed by the sudden pressure of having everything ready and together, being with company and preparing food; being engaging and welcoming but not being overwhelming; suddenly unsure of if everyone would be comfortable and relaxed, or expected something different from me, and then the exhaustion that set-in as soon as everyone left and all was put away…it honestly felt like what I/we always referred to as the “first event of the year”, all sorts of clunky and getting our “sea legs” under us. I can’t be the only one, right??
I thrive on making meal plans and party plans – and there was a new motivation I had with this fresh start of getting together again after so long, finding creative new recipes to try for the right crowd, making new appetizers and snacks for everyone to enjoy over a beer, glass of wine and around the firepit or pool. Plating colorful dishes on crisp white plates, watching everyone enjoy.
With the first family gathering under my belt, I’m looking forward to a fun summer or weekends in the backyard, family and friends coming and going, without a thought of time or schedules. And, don’t forget unexpected happy hours that just happen, and meeting new people as we all just take in the summer weather out and about. It’s the “picture perfect” way I expected to spend summers in this new house of mine (that I moved into right before the pandemic, who knew…) – and so this needs to be the beginning, for my sanity, for my meal plans and food testing (for all to enjoy) and for the fulfillment and contentment I have been searching for all this time.
And so, here we are, Memorial Weekend upon us in a couple of days…and I have a full schedule of Farmers Markets, friends over, family parties and BBQs to plan, execute and enjoy – and I can’t wait! What’s on your menu(s) this weekend?
I’m making the recipes below if you need or want any ideas! Make sure you comment below or on my Instagram posts about what you’ve tried and how it turned out!
- Bruschetta with Grilled Bread
- Seasoned Buttery Round Crackers
- Pasta Salad
- Grilled Chicken
- Sub Sandwiches
- Grilled Burgers
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
- Ice Cream
- S’mores Nachos
As always – keep in touch about what you make and how you like any recipes I’ve recommended in the blog or on my Instagram account – and let me know what you’d like to see next up on here!
There’s more to come this week, before everyone heads off to a long weekend of warm weather, friends, family and fun – if you need any help planning your weekend and prepping for a weekend off from all the cooking, email me or comment below!